Global Pharma major Pfizer is in discussions with the Indian government seeking to expedite the approval process for use of its Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
“Pfizer is aware that access to vaccines is critical to ending this pandemic. Unfortunately, our vaccine is not registered in India although our application was submitted months ago,” CEO Albert Bourla said in a mail sent to Pfizer India employees that he has shared on his LinkedIn post.
“We are currently discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make our Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country,” he added.
Earlier in April, Pfizer said that it had offered a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government immunisation programme in India and it remains committed to continuing engagement with the government to make the vaccine available in India.
Pfizer has earlier said that, during the pandemic phase, it will supply the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine only through government contracts.
Meanwhile, the pharma giant is sending its medicines worth USD 70 million (over ₹ 510 crore), from its distribution centres in the US, Europe and Asia, that have been identified as part of India’s COVID-19 treatment protocol.
“We are committed to being a partner in India’s fight against this disease and are quickly working to mobilize the largest humanitarian relief effort in our company’s history,” Mr Bourla said.
India is reeling under its worst healthcare crisis in recent memory. The country currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the world’s new cases. In the last 24 hours, India recorded 3,68,147 new Covid-19 cases, taking the cumulative tally to 1,99,25,604. As many as 3,417 new coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded, taking the nationwide death toll to 218,959.